Death in custody: Coronial inquest into the death of Aboriginal woman Tanya Day continues

Death in custody: Coronial inquest into the death of Aboriginal woman Tanya Day continues

Media Alert: Smoking Ceremony and Press Conference
Who: The Family of Tanya Day and their lawyers from the Human Rights Law Centre
When: 9.15am, Tuesday 19 March, 2019
Where: Victorian Coroner's Court forecourt, 65 Kavanagh St, Southbank
Contact: Michelle Bennett: 0419 100 519

The second directions hearing into the tragic death in police custody of Yorta Yorta woman, Tanya Day, will be held on Tuesday 19 March.

Tanya Day died in hospital on 22 December 2017 from a brain haemorrhage after falling and hitting her head in the cells of the Castlemaine police station on 5 December 2017. Tanya Day had been locked up by police for public drunkenness – an offence that the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and numerous subsequent reports recommended be abolished because of its dangerous and discriminatory impact.

Tanya Day’s daughter, Belinda Stevens, said: “The Victorian Government must abolish the offence of public drunkenness. We deserve justice. Our mum should have never been locked up – she should be with us today.”

At the first directions hearing in December 2017, the Coroner took the extraordinary step of saying that she will recommend the offence of public drunkenness be abolished and that she had already written to the Attorney General. Despite this, the Andrews Government has still not committed to getting rid of the law.

A petition, set up by the Day family, calling on the Victorian Government to abolish the offence of public drunkenness, has already been signed by thousands of people.

Media contact:

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications Director, Human Rights Law Centre